Athletics News

Former Lion Billy Bean Calls Attention to Importance of Acceptance

Billy Bean spoke to 500 students, faculty, and staff in Gersten Pavilion about the importance of diversity and acceptance.
Billy Bean spoke to 500 students, faculty, and staff in Gersten Pavilion about the importance of diversity and acceptance.

March 24, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Photo Gallery

On Tuesday, March 16, former Major League Baseball Player and LMU Alum, Billy Bean spoke to 500 students, faculty, and staff in Gersten Pavilion about the importance of diversity and acceptance. Bean, who played for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres from 1987-95, came out publicly as a gay male in 1999. He spoke to the students about the importance of accepting others for who they are and embracing our differences. Amy Charpentier (Women's Softball) and Sean Krimmel (President of Gay-Straight Alliance) introduced a video of an interview conducted by Diane Sawyer (ABC News), with Billy, back in 1999. Chris Erhart, a sophomore Rower, was moved by his heart-wrenching story, "knowing that someone had to hide such a big secret from his family and friends, can really make you take a look at your own life and others around you."

Billy spoke to the audience for about 30 minutes about his story of hiding his sexuality while playing professionally, leaving the game prematurely, running away from family and friends, coming out, and going through the healing and acceptance process. He told the audience that it was important to accept their fellow classmates and teammates for who they are and not judge them based on their sexuality.

At the end of the presentation, students, faculty, and staff took time to ask him questions and talk with him, one-on-one. Cori McGovern, freshman Women's Soccer Player, was glad Billy came to campus to speak and hopes this opens a new conversation about diversity and acceptance.

Earlier in the day, Billy met with administrators and student leaders, and also threw out the first pitch at the Baseball game vs. Long Beach State (of course it was a strike!).

To take a closer look at his story and book, click here.

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